Detroit People Mover Secures Funding, Stays Open

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit may not see a light rail project down Woodward Avenue anytime soon, but the Detroit People Mover will keep moving people.

The Detroit Transportation Corporation says the current fiscal year budget will be met, allowing the People Mover to continue full service.

Officials say the $3.4 million budget shortfall is being restored from a DTC escrow account established in 1989 for the People Mover’s long term guideway maintenance — which should keep operations going through at least June 2013.

Additionally, the DTC Board adopted a budget for the following year, allocating $6.2 million for operating expenses.

Constraints previously reduced the city’s operating subsidy to the DTC by approximately 50 percent over the last two fiscal years, triggering an additional reduction in state operating assistance.

Alternate, long-term funding sources for the operation of public transit remains a critical component for transit operators in southeast Michigan.

People Mover fares rose from 50 cents to 75 cents per ride in November 2011. It was the first fare increase the tram has received since it started operating in 1987. In 2010, fares from 2.3 million riders generated $900,000.

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